He called himself Manqué Manx because no matter how much resolve he managed to muster in any state of emergency, he would ultimately falter.
This time though, facing the unknown adversary entrenched in the Plinius crater between Mare Serenitatis and Mare Tranquilitatis, he couldn’t afford to wring his hands in desperation and let government red tape take six months to come up with a list of possible contingency decisions.
The aliens had taken out both America’s Lunar Base One and the Chinese’s Yuèliàng Outpost from orbit and had landed by the time the supply ship was on approach. They couldn’t change course in time and were knocked down as well.
Manx was the only survivor, but he would let that weigh upon his conscience later, if there was a later. Although the hull breach and subsequent atmospheric blow out took everyone else, Manx made it because he was already in his pressure suit, doing a final check on the support vehicle’s systems. He launched right before the Tycho class cargo ship impacted, and was now flying a hundred meters above the surface, approaching Plinius from the southwest.
Stress was making him sweat like a proverbial swine on a spit, and he had a death clench on the control yoke, when an abrupt screeching of radio interference slammed his ears through his spacesuit’s speakers. Then there was a voice.
“Humanz infeztashun exterminashun order confirm do not send any mor off yur speshes here. We claim the elect from gestashun twenty-five thousand planet orbitz. Do not send any mor off yur speshes here one planet orbitz. We retrieve the elect which hatch.”
Manx’s ears were ringing after the signal cut off, and as he was just clearing the crater rim. Astonished, he pressed the emergency transmit button and sent the recording of the alien message to Earth. Right before their primary weapon vaporized his shuttle, he saw the excavation in progress. Millions of spheres the size of beach balls were being transferred from a cavern into scores of what looked like incubators. They had to be eggs, but when they hatched, would the aliens take their young back out of the Solar System or would they decide to play more locally?
I wrote this for Bonus Wordle “State of Emergency” hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The idea is to use at least ten of the twelve words listed in a poem, short story, or other creative work. I used all twelve and bolded them in my tale so the reader could pick them out. The words are:
- Red Tape
- State of Emergency
- Manqué (adjective). having failed, missed, or fallen short, especially because of circumstances or a defect of character; unsuccessful; unfulfilled or frustrated (usually used post positively).